Jean Berko Gleason explains how kids learn to say “Trick or Treat!” —and how it helps them stride down the road to adulthood. That’s the story in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.
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This week, Marc Abrahams discusses “Trick or treat!” with Boston University psychology professor emerita Jean Berko Gleason. Early in her career, Gleason gained fame for inventing the WUG Test. The WUG test revealed that young children have impressively subtle abilities to learn — and use — new bits of language. The trick-or-treat study she did years later is only slightly less famous among psychologists.
- The trick-or-treat study: “The Acquisition of Routines in Child Language,” Jean Berko Gleason and Sandra Weintraub, Language in Society, vol. 5, no. 2, August 1976, pp. 129-36.
- Bela Lugosi as Dracula.
Here’s a photo of Professor Gleason wearing a costume:
The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.
The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).